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DisneyFeature FilmStop Motion

“Frankenweenie” teaser

“Sparky” lives! Tim Burton’s animated feature version of Frankenweenie opens October 5th, 2012. Here’s our first look at the animation:

  • Joe March

    The dog looks like “Family Dog”.

    • anonymous

      …you mean the Family dog looks like the frankenweenie dog, Spark. Burton’s idea for frankenweenie came well before there was “Family Dog”

      • I have doubts about this, it looks really uninspired. And yes, Sparky looks too much like Family Dog. Frankenweenie may have come before it, but the Family dog cartoon design came first. There doesn’t seem to be any unique vision behind this story, judging from the trailer, that hasn’t been done better than the likes of Young Frankenstein. I may pass on this.

      • Guy Who Was In The Room

        Burton designed all the Family Dog characters back in the mid-80’s, so the resemblance is not all that surprising.

      • Hal

        You don’t eff with perfection.

    • Hank

      Actually, the Family Dog was designed first. But long before it became what it was . Burton just repurposed the design for frankenweenie.

      • Bud

        You are correct. Family Dog was a project from the CalArts days of Burton and Bird. But since Burton’s designs are all the same anyway, it’s a moot point.

  • Tak

    Oh Disney Disney Disney…
    There is nothing about this film to like! Tim Burton be gone! No wonder Brad Bird and all those dudes are more interested in $live action$ or just group think-tank advising and pseudo directing on projects, rather than really getting stuck into animation; be it 3D, 2D or what the French do.

    In short, Paranorman is gonna MURDER this sorry stitched up dog of a film.

    Hope you have more luck with Henry Selick’s Disney/cinderbiter film(s). Seriously though, go to France, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and talk to folks, because they’re doing the kind of work you SHOULD. Hope Paperman is as big a deal as we all want it to be. More Shorts! Try Things! Use your new talent!

    • Sarah

      Tak, even though your comment is radical, harsh and a bit exagerrated towards Burtons latest flick I love what you are saying. In a way… + what you have to say about BB doing slive actions with Cruise boy and the think-tanks and pseudo stuff. You go and get them man… go and get them, thats where its at: Japs, French and the rest of them. US doing group pressure flicks for lowest common denominator.
      Bring on the new talent, BUT whos gonna bring on the MONEY?
      Its all in the US corporations at this point…

    • Scarabim

      Forget it. This is the same studio that just gave a green light to another Muppet movie.

      • Mike Russo

        Wait, you say it like that’s a BAD thing? It’s certain;y not. I’m starting to notice some very weird Muppet hate around here.

      • Scarabim

        How is a Muppets reboot good for Disney’s animated division, for its talent and story people, for its legacy?

        This recent reboot was very mediocre. I saw it in a theater full of bored youngsters and restless teens. And I have also read it wasn’t exactly a moneymaking blockbuster along the lines of the Smurfs and the Chipmunks. So why a sequel? Seriously, who needs it? Hey, Diz, how about spending that production money on some new cartoon shorts instead? I’d love to see another Mickey Mouse short as good as “Runaway Brain”.

      • Cody

        I fail to see how ‘The Muppets’ is stealing anything away from animated product at Disney. If that mentality was correct – then we should all be boycotting and naysaying ANY non-animated film the studio makes because it doesn’t help Disney’s animated division, its talent, or its legacy.

        From my standpoint – creative is creative; regardless of the medium, and it’s petty to split hairs and pit one artist against another simply because he or she doesn’t use your tools.

        The film might not have raked in ‘Chipmunks’ or ‘Smurfs’ numbers, but considering it cost about half as much as the former and a third less then the latter – I don’t think it takes a genius to figure out why they’re penning a sequel (note that nothing is green lit yet). A number of Disney’s animated flicks have been box office duds – should we call into question whether they’re worth the talent and claim to legacy?

      • Scarabim

        The first movie had nostalgia and Jason Segel going for it. The second, reportedly, will not. Doesn’t take a genius to see why a sequel might not be a very good idea.

        When Disney start producing films as good as the Lion King again, THEN I’ll stop griping about it spending funds and time on lesser entities.

      • Roberto

        The Muppets have been an ongoing franchise since 1970. They just have chosen to make this nostalgic approach in the new movie that I’m not totally satisfied with. Personally, I think they are well and alife, and they can’t work fine without the nostalgic factor. After all it’s a GOOD franchise to begin with, one that has funny, interesting characters, not so different to those in Looney Tunes, and a witty and imaginative sense of humor. That’s what makes them different to Alvin and The Chipmunks, The Smurfs or Scooby Doo. (Disclaimer: I actually think Alvin was once a cute-but not brilliant- cartoon and The Smurfs a masterpiece of a comic, but the new adaptation is based on lesser material like the animated tv series).

        Unlike the Looney Tunes nobody needs to draw or animate them as well as the original creators and there are not so many problems with the voice acting or music either. They only need good writing, so that’s a big advantage.

        The Muppets have been in nine movies (counting direct-to-video) without Jason Segel, so I’m sure they can survive without him. That said, I think they have been much more effective in tv programs like the original show and the hilarious and very underrated Muppets Tonight. And I admit there were almost dead at the time , since their direct-to-video stuff looked pretty bad, but that only makes me more happy that they are coming back to the big screen.

        My only claim about Disney making more Muppets movies is that I have always thought this franchise could get more anarchic and sharp without Disney, but that’s another story. Actually Muppets Tonight occasionally had some pretty twisted and adult jokes for a Disney production, but it seems they prefer to play safe when it comes to cinema features.

  • tredlow

    While this looks exciting, and I love Tim Burton’s animation, I don’t like how some characters barely open their mouths while talking. Their mouths are so tiny sometimes, that it’s kind of hard to fully see their expressions.

  • Scarabim

    I notice that the suits are still using the “Walt who?” signature for their movies.

    I hate those suits.

    • Deaniac

      Out of all of the things that could be touched on in the actual trailer and THAT’S what you choose to mention. Ummm okay.

      • Scarabim

        Yeah. It tells me yet again that Disney isn’t Walt’s company anymore. Kind of kills the enthusiasm.

      • Funkybat

        Hate to break it to ya, but it hasn’t been Walt’s company for 45 years. There was a certain amount of momentum through the remainder of the 60s and early 70s, but Disney studios became something else entirely by the 80s. It became something else yet again by the late 90s. Roy and the remaining artists who actually worked with Walt and the Nine Old Men may have kept some of Walt’s spirit going, but putting Walt’s first name on anything made in the last decade would ring pretty hollow to me. It’s “Disney” now, like it or not.

  • Dave V.


  • Killigan

    The characters look like they belong in those Puffs tissue paper commercials…

  • Yeah….I’d rather see Paranorman than this. The animation even looks better.

  • Roberto

    Lots of negative reactions here. While it’s true that Burton doesn’t seem to have a single new idea in his mind at least this one was his story in the first place and not a gothic recreation of something else. Of course, highly influenced by Frankenstein, but his twist nevertheless-

    I don’t know, I think some parts look promising and it could be better than The Corpse Bride, which was pretty dull and disappointing in my humble opinion. I wonder if he will manage to transform the short into a long feature but I’m liking the parts with the dog as the main star. Yes, it does look reminiscent of Family Dog, and Family Dog was excellent-well, at least the pilot, but the series had their moments. I’m also liking the design of the fat woman and the Igor-Boy. And while I don’t find the black and white especially artistic in the way it’s done, at least it’s something different. Not a fan of the design of the main boy. He looks too bland compared to the star in Burton’s Vincent, for example.

    While it’s true that ParaNorman looks more refreshing I think this could be good too and with luck one of the best Tim Burton films in recent memory. Fingers crossed.

    • Hank

      Um…there’s a little thing called Frankenstein. While the book is quite different, this is identical to the Universal film done in the 1930’s. Not particularly original ( which isn’t to say it won’t be fun!)

      • Roberto

        I already mentioned that. But since this is an adaptation of one of Burton’s first shorts, I guess it could be more personal than his more recent films.

        Anyway, it can’t be worse than his version of Alice In Wonderland.

      • Hal

        SPOILER AHEAD: From what I read early in production, the kids of the neighborhood all start reanimating their deceased pets resulting in some Godzilla style shenaniganz. So its gonna get AWESOME.

  • Honestly, I hope this is great. Tim Burton meant so much to the High School-aged me in the early 90s. I’m guessing I’m not the one who felt this way. If it takes a long-form remake of a short film he made decades ago to return Tim to his former, favored self, so be it. But if this ends up another film on par with ‘Planet of the Apes’ or ‘Alice in Wonderland’ or that ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ fiasco, I fear it could taint the memory of the original ‘Frankenweenie’ for a lot of folks.

    Still, I’ll forever owe Mr. Burton a debt of thanks for his early movies, the ones where he made the zany, silly, delicate, depressed, artistic and insecure emotions I was drowning in as a teen seem like something to be proud of.


  • akira

    i’d like to see what this movie will have that the original short didn’t

    if it’s all the same stuff i’d have much rather preferred a nightmare sequel or prequel, maybe that’s the deal: burton will think about doing a NBC sequel if they let him make this one? i really wish there was a variety of animation techniques, such as more replacements as in Nightmare..

  • Doug

    It seems we owe a lot of love to Mr. Burton for renewing interest in stop-motion – but did he have to stop his creative development there*? He has never come close to matching the energy and spirit of that film in any of his subsequent films. This looks like a big yawn.

    *I know that in some ways this is unfair to Tim Burton as his style has been soooo influential as to become well copied and now ubiquitous. He’s a victim of his own success.

  • Bill

    Not thrilled with the voices. Also seems to be missing some of the twisted quirkiness of the original. We’ll see, but I’m hopeful.

  • what_in_the_cel

    This just looks incredibly dry, and I usually love his puppet films. What ever happened to the Addams Family stop motion flick he was gonna do? I would have welcomed that much more to this predictable film.

  • Mike

    Not really digging the voices or, well, much else about this. Much more excited for Pirates and ParaNorman on the stop-motion front, though I’m sure I’ll still see it.

    And am I the only one who wishes it wasn’t completely black and white?

  • So far the characters seem to lack as much expression as the cast in Corpse Bride. Sparky seems pretty cute and the Igor-kid seems interesting.

    I’m crossing my figures for this to be good.

  • Joe March

    @ anonymous,
    Frankenweenie was from 1984. It was live action.
    Family Dog was 1987. It was animated.
    The new Frankenweenie is 2012.
    The dog in the stop motion Frankenweenie looks exactly like the dog from Family Dog from 1987.
    So, Who copied who?

    • kwert

      No one actually, because Tim Burton designed the Family Dog character.

      • Funkybat

        I’m surprised how few people on here seem to be aware of the fact that Tim Burton and Brad Bird worked together back in the 80s, and that cross-pollination of ideas, either intentional or subconscious, is pretty common when peers are working around/with one another. I don’t claim to know the lineage of that dog design, but seeing it here doesn’t irk me or make me want to yell about “Brad stealing Tim’s design” or vice versa.

  • I’ve learned that trailers are movies worst enemies, so I’m not going to watch, but- one question, Burton did both Dark Shadows and Frankenwinnnie, at the same time? Or he already worked on Frankenwinnie before? (after making the short, obviously)

  • Tom

    Looks pretty good! I am looking more forward to Paranorman, but what with Pirates, Paranorman and this, 2012 is shaping up to be a successful year for stop motion :)

  • I think Frankenweenie looks great. I’m excited to see the film.

  • Wow, so much hate for a teaser trailer… this looks like it’s gonna be a unique film, kudos to “Walt Disney Pictures” for taking a chance on a black and white stop-mo film. I hope it returns Tim Burton back to the film maker we all loved in the 90s!

  • Oh wow, this looks fantastic. The black and white photography is stunning and after the incredibly slick “Corpse Bride” and “Coraline” it’s nice to see imperfections on stop-motion models again.

    I also can’t believe Disney greenlit what is essentially an homage to 1930s Universal horror movies. I mean, the trailer has a shot where a kid goes into a graveyard and digs up a corpse!

  • Joe

    Keep rockin’ that formula Tim!

    – He’s an outcast
    – No one understands him
    – He lives in the evil suburbs
    – Spirals and stripes
    – Danny Elfman….
    Dittely, dittely
    Dittely, dittely
    Bom! Bom! Bom! Bom!

    • Oh yes, you’re so smart. Why don’t you just be a bit more specific on your hatin’ instead of being just one of those generic farters who have no idea of what they’re talking about? Ghibli, Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks, Spielberg, have been friggin’ using the same formula over and over again. Why not make a stupid video for those? IF Tim Burton is lacking a good STORYTELLING on a feature, like the majority of animation companies nowadays, well that’s very, VERY different. At least he’s got his “own formula”.

      • Joe

        Caty, I think there are some specifics spelled out in the post. Why assume that I don’t think there are formulas at other studios? I know there are and I pointed out some on the “Brave Trailer” post.

        It would be nice if Tim would deviate somewhat. He’s made a name and a bit of money from this kind of formula. I don’t know if it’s the Bean Counters keeping him from expanding or himself. In any case, we get fed the same thing.

      • Sigh……. the thing is that your comment reminds me of all the Youtube commenters: something that has been said over and over and OVER again by everybody. Nothing interesting to say, and a stereotype of a stereotype. I agree, Frankenweenie may be pointless, but I can’t say anything until I see it.

        How about if we rant about Jamie Hewlett on his new vide for a change? Make a stupid video of Tarantino’s big, fat, hairy ego? I think i’ve seen 4 videos already on Burton being repetitive. I’m kind of fed up over the hating (hate is a strong word, but I can’t think of anything else) on someone who did Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood and Charlie and the Chocolate factory (as well as many others).

      • Roberto

        Actually the main problem with Burton, to me at least, is not so much that he’s repetitive, but that his modern films seem to lack the same soul he put in the first ones. Burton has always been praised for his visual style more than his stories, but I think films like Batman Returns, Beetlejuice, Ed Wood or Edward Scissorhands had more into their characters and dialogues than, say, Corpse Bride or Alice. In fact, in Alice I can barely recognize Burton in the story, just in the visual part.

        Maybe it was because Burton was kind of an outcast himself back then and now he’s extremely well known and famous, so his pose looks fake. Or maybe he just worked with better writers back then.

        Incidentally, there is an AWESOME new trailer of ParaNorman:

  • Clint H.

    I’m surprised by all the hate from just this one teaser trailer. From what I see, it looks good. And it looks like I’m not the only one who thinks that Frankenweenie looks an awful lot like Family Dog.

  • steve

    tim burton did the designs for family dog as well! calm down. the new film is based on the original art he did prior to it becoming a live action short. he has been quoted as saying he is excited to tell the new story with HIS ORIGINAL CHARACTER DESIGNS!

  • tedzey

    I think it’s a nice tribute to Burton’s first animated short AND the Disney Channel Live Action film. Maybe i’m just a sucker for stop motion, but I’ll be looking forward to this as much as I am for Paranorman!

  • Hal

    First PIRATES! then PARANORMAN and now FRANKENWEEINE… for my money, this is one of the best years in puppet animation we’ve ever seen. Take that CG.

  • Sarah

    Relax people – it looks cute and simple…back to the basics!
    Its got 2 colors notice that too and turns down the suger-cheese factor from Dreamworks facktory. It is for young people like for example…………..Tim Burtons son whos is 6 or 7. Just relax a bit…

  • At least Burton isn’t making more porn starring Johnny Depp for teen girls – at the moment.

    • Hal

      GOOD GOD MAN, there’s a fortune in EDWARD *****HANDS waiting to be made! Fetch me the San Fernando Valley’s best Depp lookalike, a day’s worth of emo wigs, mascara and pasty white face makeup, as well as the finest fetish duds you can procure from Hollywood Blvd. We will make this HAPPEN.

  • Alissa

    I’ve played/read/watched too many zombie stories. My first thought when the tail twitched was KILL IT WITH FIRE!

    Other than that it was nice animation I guess. You can’t really tell much from a teaser though, can you?

  • Seriously, those human mouths look like fleshlights to me! Deane Taylor, we miss you!!!

  • Toonio

    “I can fix that!” really? is this Jimmy Neutron Dark or what?

    Tim Burton must be running on fumes. Nothing but remakes during the past years.

  • Im Down.

  • Old Man Father Time

    Wow. More classic Cartoon Brew hate! Whatever. I’m gonna love this trailer!

  • James

    Yeah. not fond if the kid’s voice. Also, was glad they did not include the heavily over-used “It’s Aliiive!” — until the “Igor” kid is thrown in there. I don’t mind any other classic Frankenstein homages, but that is the one that is used waay too many times.

    Otherwise, I’m interested to see where this goes as there is no hint at what the plot will be after “Frankenweenie” is reborn.

  • Bob Harper

    I don’t care about the negative feedback,I dig Tim Burton and this project. Yeah this project that got him fired from Disney. I don’t need to choose to watch this or ParaNorman, I’ll watch both! This is going to be a fun year for animation.

  • Frank Ziegler

    Looks exactly like Frankenweenie. The only problem is I already have it on DVD, done with live actors. Has Tim really run so totally out of ideas that he is remaking his own films now instead of other peoples? Can a stop motion edward Scissorhands be far behind?

    • Doug

      For some reason, the idea of a stop-mo Scissorhands sounds very interesting to me.

  • TheAnimator

    Screw all the usual negative commenters. This looks freaking awesome!!

    Stop motion ftw.

  • James Fox

    The teaser confirms it’s awesomeness

  • Mapache

    Yo Tim Burton, I’m very happy for you and Imma let you finish… but ParaNorman has some of the best stop motion animation of all time.

  • Dirge

    Nothing this man makes excites me anymore. Wasn’t this based on his student film or something? He’s become a caricature of himself, & nothing about his films are new or exciting anymore.

    I lump him in with Speilberg & Lucas, old, tired, & lazy filmmakers.

    Somebody kick these lazy old dogs out and give some new fresh talent 1/3 of the budget they get, I can bet we’d get some actual entertainment.

  • Andy

    Waiting for:

    Paranormal 10 +

    Frankenweenie 6 –

  • Steve Gattuso

    This is a film that I will not make any judgement on until I see it. But at the least, I _will_ take the time to see it for myself.

  • Sarah

    As a Tim Burton fan and a animation fan, I wanna see this now. I actually met Tim Burton as he signed my copy of The Art of Tim Burton (best $60 I’ve ever spent) as he was one of the nicest (sp?) people you’ll ever meet.

    Heck, I wanna see this more than Dark Shadows (why is there no trailer for that yet?).

    • The story I heard is that Warner Bros. literally has no idea how to sell “Dark Shadows.” Which makes me even more excited about the project.

  • The Igor-type kid made me smile.

    The text “Director of Alice in Wonderland” made me cringe. Yeah, because I need to be reminded who Tim Burton is…

    I kinda wished Tim would have tried something different when designing the main character. Looks like a younger version of Victor in Corpse Bride.

    But, I’ll probably gonna watch it anyway :)

  • Dario

    Tim Burton, please, go out a little bit, enjoy nature, join the urban sketchers, expand your family and add some pepper in your life. Always dark, emo, depressive, scarry in a strange way… Oh man, I get the blues by watching this trailer.

  • I was on set back in the early eighties when Burton was doing his live-action “Frankenweenie.” It was a lot of fun, but Disney was clueless as usual. They let Tim Burton get away and he earned much moola for the competition.

    Eventually, the “man in black” returned, and the Disney studio remains lucky to have him. By the way, nobody is required to see the movie.

    • Tak

      “By the way, nobody is required to see the movie.”
      True ture, this is a comments section through. ;-)

  • Wow, a lot of negative feedback here. I’d say:

    1) it’s a puppet film
    2) it’s NOT a sequel
    3) it’s not based on a well-known children’s book
    4) it’s in black-and-white

    Who’s complaining? Projects like these alone make 2012 a far more interesting animation feature year than 2011. I’m looking forward to it! Or would you rather go see Sequel no. 2, Cash-in-on-Dr.Seuss no. 3,or Spin-off no. 4? I know I wouldn’t…

  • I think it’ll be interesting to see the final result, but the voice casting puts me off, plus I feel like the idea (just from this trailer) could have been pushed further. I guess that’s Hollywood though.

    Is anybody else a bit sick of the Burton franchise? The last time I was wowed by his ideas was Nightmare and for live action, Ed Wood. I agree with the earlier comment, get in some fresh blood and take a risk. The average cinema seems to becoming more and more homogenised.

  • E. Nygma

    Yeah I have to agree with Grob! Why so many Disney/Pixar haters on this site? As a lover of animation of all kinds, budgets and lengths there is room for all of it. It seems sometimes like people want to hate the popular companies. Disney has been around for ages, of course they are going to have ups and downs. Pixar had like 10 great movies in a row and blew it with cars two…it could have happened a lot sooner. Big companies have to put out highly marketable crap to cover the large overhead, i dont like it either but in reality it just happens.

    Any successful animation company no matter how successful will sell out or make a bad movie at somepoint, lets be real with our expectations.

    If you ask me it actually looks like disney is taking a risk for once with an all black and white film and stop animation. I agree that this doesnt look that great, but it cant be as bad as tims Alice in Wonderland…how awful was that? Now Im a hater.

    • Ryan

      I think you guys often confuse the Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks “Haters” with “the passionate by frustrated scorned lovers”. Sometimes they can seem very much alike, but the difference is usually in the length of their comments and the underlying subtext of their gripes.
      Not everything in life is all roses, positivity & sunshine, so why do all comments always have to be?

      Besides, don’t cry for Disney. They’re big kids, they can take it.

      • E. Nygma

        Just seems like we hear the same old gripes about the major studios. I would rather hear why you didn’t like a particular movie by these studios rather than the typical:

        – They sold out ( I hate that sentence, it’s a business)

        – They made this movie to sell toys (No Sh*t that’s marketing)

        – They used to be better

        – They are recycling old ideas

        Look, I get it. sometimes I agree. But this site seems to be for people who are very passionate about this stuff. Instead of just downing them because they are corporate giants, I just feel specific reasons why would be good. Just my opinion.

  • Ryan

    I think you guys often confuse the Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks “Haters” with “the passionate but frustrated scorned lovers”. Sometimes they can seem very much alike, but the difference is usually in the length of their comments and the underlying subtext of their gripes.
    Not everything in life is all roses, positivity & sunshine, so why do all comments always have to be?

    Besides, don’t cry for Disney. They’re big kids, they can take it.

  • I don’t understand all the negative feedback either. This looks good! I think I’ll always love the original short best, but I really look forward to seeing this!

  • I’ve always liked Tim Burton better as an animation director than as a live action director. I think he’ll be able to get a lot more out of these particular characters in animation anyways. It’s also quite cool that someone had the balls to allow an animated feature to be presented in black and white.


  • While I do agree that the mouth shapes and movements could have been vastly more exaggerated, rather than the almost still, lifeless shapes they appear to be, overall I think the actual animation is top-notch. Sure, Burton follows a certain formula and is remaking an earlier film of his, but film-makers have been doing practically the same thing for decades. Had anybody lambasted Hitchcock for returning to similar story-lines over and over? No. Did anybody blink an eye when he remade his own “The Man Who Knew Too Much”? No. Tim Burton has developed a style all his own, and though I would enjoymore variety out of his work, I still appreciate his skill in crafting a type of film so very unique to him.

    • E. Nygma

      “Big Fish” was a bit of a departure for Tim.

      I love that he has the clout to make Stop-Animation films under major studios. Let’s at least applaud him for that!

  • dbenson

    As wiser souls than I have often said, they should be remaking the failures — at least the ones that had potential. “Atlantis” (with a less generic TV-pilot script) . . . “Pogo for President” (drawn, as God and Kelly intended) . . . “Puss in Boots” (lose the intrusive fairy tale residue of “Shrek”) . . . “Daydreamer” (the oddly depressing Rankin-Bass relic) . . . “Cool World” (with a bit more budget and a lot more coherence) . . . the Mickey Mouse “Three Musketeers” (with a firm commitment to either cartoony comedy or “real” characters — straddling both didn’t quite work) . . . “Shinbone Alley” (coulda been a classic) . . .